The Eyes of the World Are Watching Us Debate Our Organ Donor Bill; Western Mail

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), July 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

The Eyes of the World Are Watching Us Debate Our Organ Donor Bill; Western Mail


ALL eyes will be on Wales this week as AMs vote on what is arguably the biggest piece of legislation since devolution.

As well as being one of the most significant Bills to be put before the Assembly, it is also one of the most controversial.

If voted in, The Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill will see us become the first nation in the UK to have an "opt-out" system for organ donation and put us firmly in the spotlight for the next few years as other governments look at how we go about its implementation.

Tomorrow's vote will be the final stage in a long process to bring this legislation forward. But it's certainly not the end of the story. If it goes through, that's when the real work starts. There is plenty that needs to be done to ensure that all the practical safeguards are put in place and the ethical aspects of the Bill are watertight when put into practice.

In principle, we support any measure which helps to increase the number of organ donors and potentially save the lives of people who are desperately waiting for an organ.

But so far, the legislation has been surrounded by controversy and influential groups have raised numerous concerns over vital aspects of both the moral and systematic aspects of its introduction.

The role of the family has been the subject of the majority of the fears surrounding the system of opt-out, with many saying it lacked clarity. …

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